Kansas State trailed La Salle 44-26 at halftime in Kansas City, looking lethargic and slow in front of a partisan crowd. The second half, though, went much differently. The Wildcats eliminated the entire deficit in the first ten and a half minutes, thanks to discovering that they had a large advantage inside against the small guard-oriented opponent. It looked as if the Wildcats would surge to victory.
Credit to La Salle, though, for not wilting after the lead disappeared. The game went down to the wire, and the Explorers got it done. They only had three field goals all second half, and according to Jerry Hinnen, didn’t make one the last 7:55. Amazing. Bruce Weber agreed.
Jordan Henriquez, who averaged only 4.6 points this year, came alive in the second half, getting points near the rim, and had 17 points, 11 rebounds and 5 blocks. He came up short on a final drive. Then, after one free throw made it a two point game, Kansas State’s Angel Rodriguez had one of the worst executed final attempts with plenty of time to run a play. The shot came from behind the backboard and didn’t even catch rim.
This sets up a wild matchup of La Salle vs. Ole Miss to go to the Sweet Sixteen. Mississippi should have the inside advantage, if a certain guard doesn’t shoot them out of it. La Salle’s guards should be more than up to the challenge on the perimeter.